Friday, November 29, 2013

Photo Recipe: My Moody Winter Sky

I was was so proud of myself for keeping up with my thankful posts even as I struggled because I didn't want it to turn into an inventory of the reasons my life is awesome (I didn't want it to feel braggy.)
So, one co-old morning, when I opened all of the shades completely to let the sun shine in and warm the house (total opposite from a typical summer day,) I realized what was what I was thankful for that day: the warmth of the winter sun.  I went out on my front porch, in my pajamas, and tried to get a photo of the winter sky.  I wanted leafless tree tops and that cold blue sky and that quality of the sun that just hollers "It's winter!"
Now, my house is across the street from the Junior High School where my son is an eighth grader.  I did not take the time to play with a lot of settings because I didn't want his buddies to look out the window and see crazy Mrs. K on her hands and knees taking pictures of the sun.  They all know the camera is attached to my hip, but still...
So, I came inside, loaded the photos and this is what I ended up with:

Nov recipe before

Bleh.  I like the silhouette of the trees, and the sky definitely doesn't look summery, but I just didn't love it at all.

Three days after this, we had horrific storms (I live about 9 miles from Washington, IL) and all I could think about was what a moody, fickle sky we have.  With that in mind, I decided to aggressively edit the photo to make it moody.

I am an experimenter and I picked some different textures from the Love that Shot Collections to see what they would do with my photo.  I started with "Wicked" from the Fairytale collection.  It has a nice midnight-blue feel.  At first, I had hoped it would give me a little blue in the sky, but that's not what happened.  But I loved the way it looked:

Nov recipe step 1

I next decided that I wanted a little more color variation, and more texture (remember, I am not subtle) so I chose a texture called "Mauna" from the Kalani Collection.  I loved the colors it added to the photo around the sun:

Nov recipe step 2

Finally, I decided to completely embrace the dark, foreboding feel that this photo was taking on.  I went to the Olde World collection (my favorite of all of the collections) and chose a texture called "Calais" for its dark vignette and ancient feel.  It reminds me of old parchment that has had ink spilled on the edges.

After I added that, one, here was the finished product:

Nov recipe step 3

In review, I added Wicked from the Fairytale Collection (overlay, 75%) then "Mauna" from the Kalani Collection (overlay, 75%) and finally "Calais" from the Olde World collection (overlay, 75%.)  Here is the comparison.


I like how my winter sky now looks like a creepy full-moon Halloween night!  I didn't end up with what I had intended, but sometimes that's just how life is.

If you'd like to learn more about Love That Shot's Photo Veils and Textures, just click here! Experiment and enjoy!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thankful. November 10.

It feels very strange not to have a photo to go along with this one, but I don't.  Well, I could, but I am not going to take the time to dig out and scan old photos.
Today, I am grateful for moving.
I had moved 16 times by the time I was 14 years old.  I have lived in 5 different states, and while I have lived in the same house for the past 14 and a half years, I still consider myself a bit of a nomad.
If I had not moved like that, I wouldn't have an appreciation for different parts of the country.  I wouldn't have many of my friendships.  I may not have become as obnoxiously outgoing as I am.  I would be much more uncomfortable with change.  I wouldn't understand that friendships ebb and flow and that's ok.
My family always talks about that last move and the opportunities that it brought to me and my sister.  The move to Princeton, IL was a fabulous one for our family.  Princeton instantly felt like home.  I felt accepted and I was able to be highly involved at the high school.
One of the coolest experiences of my high school career was my volleyball team winning the State Championship in 1990, 23 years ago today (ahhh!  There is a connection.)  If we hadn't moved to Princeton, I wouldn't have had that opportunity.
I am grateful for the  moving.

Thankful. November 9.

I find friendships fascinating.  They ebb and flow and some stay true while others fade away.  I am so very thankful for the friendship that exists between these two families.  The M family moved to the next town several years ago, but when the kids get together, it's like nothing has changed.
Sometimes I think that the space makes the friendship better and that if they actually all went to school together, they might not be friends.
Stupid adolescent weirdness.
Anyway, I am glad they don't live near each other so they can be friends and have fun without the pressure from cliques, etc.
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Thankful. November 8.

Sometimes it is the little things in life that make one happy.  Today it is craft projects.  My daughter can spend hours happily crafting away.  She has found instructions online for creating the little Minecraft objects out of those little melty plastic beads. 
I think it's awesome.
I miss crafting.
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Thankful. November 7.

Today I am thankful for people who are willing to spend time wandering around and photographing random things with me.  I think of it as experimenting, and it wouldn't be nearly as much fun without others joining me.  Plus I would really feel like a doofus if I was crawling around cemeteries all by myself.
Added bonus:  it's fascinating to see how two people can see them same thing in entirely different ways.
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thankful. November 6.

Oh crap, it's later in the month than I thought it was. Deep breaths, Shannon!
Today, I am thankful for traditions.  My dear friend Amber and I have been exchanging crazy birthday gifts for years in this very gift bag.  According to the earliest sticker I can find on the bag, it was first shipped between Texas and Illinois in 2000.  I ship it to Amber every year for her November birthday and then I get it back with my December birthday gifts.  And then I bear the responsibility of NOT losing the bag until the following November.  The pressure!
The tradition of it all makes me smile.
And why the "Oh crap?"  Her birthday is just three days away.  I hope it gets there in time!
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Thankful. November 5.

Today I express my gratitude for this cat. She lets me cuddle with her by day even though I chase her through the house, hurling expletives and threatening to kill her, every morning at 5:15 am. 
We have an understanding. I feed her when she demands it and she tolerates my petting her lovely fluffiness. 
Can it be any other way with a cat?

Thankful. November 4.

My daughter came home from school and presented me with these three leaves that she picked up on her walk home.
I am grateful for two things:
1. I live in a place with changing seasons.  I get to feel snow in the winter, smell lilacs in the spring, feel thunder shake my house in a summer storm and see these absolutely gorgeous fall colors.
2.  It makes my heart happy that at eleven years old, she still collects things for me. 
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thankful. November 3.

A puppy. Who doesn't love a puppy?  I am thankful for this puppy for several reasons. 
1. She's cute. 
2.  My daughter has wanted a dog for-ev-er. Forever. Seriously forever. 
3. She serendipitously came into our lives, relieving me of the responsibility of choosing to seek out a puppy. 
4.  Every kid should have a kitten and/or a puppy once. We survived the kitten. Now is our chance to survive a puppy. 
5.  It's a good life experience. 

Thankful. November 2.

I am so thankful for this man, who, without complaint, sits through multiple selfies and patiently looks where I tell him to so that I can have a satisfactory picture of the two of us. 
He's pretty awesome and this is just one reason why. 
And yes, the wind blew my hair in my eyes, but this was way better than tries 1 and 2, so we went with it. Even I have limits. 

Thankful: November 1

 I have been struggling with this whole, "I am going to spend November cataloging all of the things I have to be thankful for" trend.  I think that it fantastic that we all stop complaining and criticizing and instead examine the blessings in our lives, BUT I get my panties all in a bunch when I start to read the laundry list of how awesome everyone's lives are. Is this a contest?

That being said, I do want to take the time to think about the things in my life that are wonderful and special and bring a smile to my face.  And I am going to be completely honest about some of the weird things that just make me happy to have my life.  (Plus I hate to be left out, so I am totally joining in.)

 November 1:  I am grateful for fantastic fall colors, with a side serving of appreciation for the fact that my neighbors don't call the police on me when they see me crawling through their yards with my camera.  You see, I don't have any pretty trees in my yard, sniff, sniff.

Between that yellow (Silver Maple, maybe?) and the red of the Burning Bush, I was in love.

Also, I am thankful that I didn't make a total fool of myself by slipping, tripping, falling or doing something equally as clumsy as I took these photos on one of the busiest streets in town.

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